Press Release
The Smith + Andersen Group Launches Employee Share Ownership Plan


Today, employees of The Smith + Andersen Group were invited to participate in the company’s first Employee Share Ownership Plan (“ESOP”).

The ESOP provides eligible staff members with the opportunity to invest directly in the collective national operations of the firm. 

Smith + Andersen is a privately-owned company that was founded in 1965 by Ian F. Smith and John Andersen. The company began as a mechanical consulting engineering practice based in Toronto, and expanded to include nine engineering and design disciplines as part of a multi-disciplinary national building consulting engineering firm. Footprint, a member of The Smith + Andersen Group, was founded in 2011 as a dedicated sustainability consulting practice. Today, Smith + Andersen employs more than 600 staff across Canada. 

The ESOP aims to provide employees with the opportunity to become owners of the business. 

“Having an ESOP means that we believe that it takes both investment ownership and work contribution to make a company successful, and that ownership can, and ideally should, be available for all,” says Smith + Andersen Managing Principal Kevin Farbridge. “The ESOP will be a foundation for individual career success, team building and, based on the company’s history of success, collective prosperity.”

A first in the company’s 57-year history, the ESOP represents a direct ownership stake in The Smith + Andersen Group, which in turn owns shares in all nine Smith + Andersen offices and all seven Footprint offices across Canada. 

“The growth of Smith + Andersen has always been organic, and the launch of the ESOP felt like another natural step for our company,” says Smith + Andersen Principal Douglas Smith. “Our work ethic – which began with my father when he started the firm – is still what keeps us moving forward. Seeing the firm grow, through people who have dedicated their entire careers to Smith + Andersen, brings me a great sense of pride. Our leadership team operates so cohesively and collaboratively across all of our offices, and translating the sense of ownership that we know our employees already feel into a tangible offer to participate in the company’s success really aligns with who we are.”

The Smith + Andersen Group engaged ESOP Builders Inc. in 2019 to advise on the process of building an ESOP.

For more information, please complete the contact form here.

About Smith + Andersen

Smith + Andersen is a trusted Canadian consulting engineering firm with offices in Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, London, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax. Founded in 1965, Smith + Andersen has organically grown from an established reputation as trusted mechanical and electrical consultants, reaching new levels of engineering and design excellence in the communications, security, and audiovisual fields, and providing enhanced services such as lighting, building automation systems, and intelligent integrated systems design. Thanks to their client-focussed approach, Smith + Andersen is able to apply efficient, sustainable, and reliable design and engineering solutions on the most exciting projects across Canada. From fully-integrated hospitals and welcoming schools, to healthy workplaces and secure transit stations, their team has established lasting relationships with public and private sector clients across the country.


About ESOP Builders

For over 25 years, ESOP Builders Inc. has been advising Canadian companies on the design and implementation of Employee Share Ownership and Employee Stock Option Plans. We know that ESOPs have a positive impact on businesses, their employees, and society more broadly.

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